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Welcome to Pathways at First United Methodist Church. We are excited when people join our church but are even more excited when people engage in a lifelong journey of discipleship. Jesus says “Follow me.” John Wesley took Jesus’ call literally and it changed the world. Wesleyan’s have seen Christ’s invitation as two-fold.
  • To Grow in Piety
    • Gather together to hear the word proclaimed,
      • Study the scriptures,
        • And engage in Christian conferencing
  • To Grow in Mercy
    • Feed the hungry,
      • Educate the illiterate,
        • Visit the prisoner,
          • And heal the sick
When you join the church you pledge your time, talents, gifts, service, and witness. The church in turn promises to provide opportunities for you to mature in faith. To help you with your pledge we encourage you to grow in your discipleship through Pathways.

We are inviting everyone to begin by taking the class “A Disciples Path: Deepening Your Relationship With Christ And The Church.” From that point on the journey will be unique for each traveler (even though Pathways might suggest a linear progression). Pathways consists of:

Hearing the Call – A Disciple’s Path
Setting Out
Journeying Along
Climbing Higher

Each level along the journey includes both educational and outreach opportunities to help keep a healthy balance of piety and mercy. Each level calls for a greater commitment and presents a great challenge, but also draw us further along that pathway of discipleship.

You might be setting out for the very first time with basic questions and little experience. The opportunities in Setting Out is the place to head. If you have been on the path for a while, Journeying Along might be just for you, and if you are really ready for a challenge move to Climbing Higher. Of course you might be somewhere in between. It’s perfectly okay to take a class in the Journeying Along section, while reaching for a service opportunity in Climbing Higher. Remember, everyone’s journey will be different – and that’s wonderful!

See opportunities below and sign up by using the Online Sign-Up Sheet.

Setting Out

TOILET PAPER AND TUNA During the month of April, Social Concerns will be collecting toilet paper and canned tuna for Westminster Food Pantry. Our goal is to collect 110 packages of toilet paper and 110 cans of tuna. Please drop off your donation in the collection bins in the north lobby office. 

RISK TAKING MISSION First Church is joining other UM Churches in the “Grand Rapids District Habitat Build.” This is a wonderful opportunity to join with Habitat Kent County in a project that will forever change the life of a hard working, low-income family in need of affordable housing. We invite you to pray for the project and the family who will live in this home at 934 Caulfield Ave SW. Consider being part of a First Church building team on one or more of the following days:  Saturday, June 14, Thursday, June 19, Wednesday, July 16, and Saturday, August 2. We will be framing on each of these days. Volunteers must be age 16 or older. You may volunteer by contacting Laure Mieskowski at or Sami Marasigan at  

BLOOD DRIVE Our next blood drive is Monday, May 19th from 3pm to 7pm in Wesley Hall! Blood donors and cookie bakers needed. Please contact Marj Timmerman at or 901-9224 to reserve a time to donate blood or to let us know you can provide 2 dozen cookies. Help save a life!

Journeying Along

STEPHEN MINISTRY   Why is Stephen Ministry called Stephen Ministry? What does a Stephen Minister do?  How can I become a Stephen Minister? Find the answers to these and other questions on Sunday, June 8 when you can meet with our Stephen Ministry Team in the parlor at 11am for refreshments and a short video. We will be holding a Stephen Minister training class this fall. Are you ready?

First Aid

ANXIETY Are you struggling with feelings of anxiety? Has anxiety been preventing you from enjoying activities with your friends or family? Let your Church Assistance Program (CAP) helps you find ways to overcome it! Call CAP at 455-6210. By telling them you are a member of First Church, you will have 2 one-hour confidential appointments with a social worker at no charge to you. Don’t struggle any longer - call CAP today!